The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using gums

jclcf's picture

Using gums

I'd like to know if there are any improvements in usual bread making (not gluten free) when using ingredients like guar gum or xanthan gum as emulsifiers or texture softners, as these products are being used as substitute for butter or eggs in "healthy" cooking because of their property of making things smoothier.


Thanks !

pmccool's picture

Since they are gums, they won't serve as emulsifiers.  They also won't, in and of themselves, soften the bread.  If anything, they are likely to give the bread a rubbery texture.

It's probably best if you decide what you want to accomplish, since "healthy" has different connotations for different people.  If you want to lower fat content, then substituting something for the butter and eggs would make sense.  In that case, you would be better to use something like purees as a source of additional moisture and nutritional content.  Applesauce might be one possibilitly, as could be pumpkin or squash puree.

Just some thoughts.


Janetcook's picture

They are also making money for someone *^)  I know xanthium gum is expensive - not sure about guar gum…

Like Paul stated - not sure why you want to substitute.  I know you can buy dough conditioner to accomplish the same thing.  When I first started baking, and before I found this site, I bought some along with vital wheat gluten to add to my doughs.  I quickly found out these ingredients were not necessary when a dough is allowed to ferment overnight which softens it up as well as improves flavor.  

While I certainly am not a flour, water and salt  purist when baking breads, I do not like to rely on 'fancy' commercial products to produce tasty bread.  I have learned to rely on technique instead and most of what I know about that has been learned here.   :*)


Wild-Yeast's picture

Xanthan Gum is best reserved for making mayonnaise - especially when it fails to emulsify. A pinch goes a long way. Discovered in Anthony Bourdain's book, "Kitchen Confidential" when he was attending cooking school...,


nicodvb's picture

that gums can give a softer crumb to bread, on the contrary. Paul is perfectly right, in my opinion.

Those gums are used to gove cohesion to gluten-free doughs, otherwise they won't keep together, but they act like glue.